Lohagad fort and Bhaja caves, India
February 27, 2019
by Prachi Dehankar
Lohagad is situated on western ghats in the state of Maharashtra near Pune city region. It represents a small story in the medieval history of India. Having a brief history in the 17th century, this place holds importance in the Maratha’s conquest in the hope of ‘Purna Swaraj’ and its fight against the foreign invaders-“Mughals”.
Best Time To Visit:
Spring to Autumn
For hikers- prefer the monsoon time as the clouds and rain are a cherry on the cake
For family: winter and autumn are best because of the clear sky and chilled air.
Lohagad- Fort is famous from the 17th century built in times of a great Maratha power Shivaji Bhonsle
Bhaja Caves: 5th-4th-century Buddhist caves origin from the Satavahana period of Ancient Indian history.
- Not more than a thousand bucks except the travelling expenses.
- Can book a Private car to reach the place.
- No alternate route to the top, climbing is the only option
- A car can drop right next to the steps.
- Place for parking through the side of the road
- Local travelling from Pune Lonavala can drop you till station, later a walk would be a good option. I would suggest not to depend on auto or rickshaw as they may or may not make it to the top.
Pune- 32kms right before reaching Lonavla
It all started on new years eve, we wanted to explore some Ancient History of the place and so we took the next local train from the city and travelled till Talegaon, the night before. On the day of travel, the cab took 20 mins to reach. Over the last turn towards the place, we travel on a zigzag road near the Bhaja caves. We decided to go to the fort first to see the sunrise and then the caves.
We visited the place early in the morning, the shops were closed and the market was still sleeping. Gazing at the sky, we admired the surrounding and took a bunch of photos on our way up to the fort. It was a peaceful day. The weather was windy and the drop in temperature made it more exciting. The view of Pawna lake was soon visible once we started to walk. All the tiredness of entire week vanished with those beautiful sceneries. It was a perfect picturesque. And the dam of positivity exploded in me. Though the walk to the top was exhausting but totally worthy.
Later, the Bhaja caves were one the worth to visit. There too we had to climb almost 150-200 steps. We bought the tickets costing 25 bucks and visited the place around 10 am.
Lohagad, unlike Sinhagad, is not a fort to have saved some historic monuments due to whatever reasons. if you are looking to escape from the daily routine of a metro city and find a tranquillizing place to spend the weekend, Lohagad is perfect to start the day.
(I have visited both the places and if asked I would suggest you prefer Lohagad)
A brief about Lohagad
Near Mumbai-Pune highway, this place is surrounded by plains on one side showing the highway and lake view on the other. It is adjacent to Visapur fort. Lohagad, also called as an Iron fort was surrendered to Mughals by Shivaji Maharaj in the “TREATY OF PURANDER”. It was won back by Marathas in the next 5 years though. The fort represents a classic Hindu temple made by stones and a mosque (must be made under the Mughals). The vast fort’s surrounding is covered by rocks along with some preserved water into the holes on one side and barren land to others. Like an oasis in a wild desert was an elephant lake (a small water preserves) a perfect polygon from a non-technical age. And the vinchu kada (scorpion shaped end when looked through the satellite) an architecture of nature. The place is a real catch for people to get refresh and find some peace with nature.
Almost after climbing 300 steps made of stone you get to main entrance called the Ganesh entrance, the whole of fort until entrance is covered with stones, designed into it, the entrance had a wooden door and some pointed iron nails attached to it, apparently it must have been in use to stop the enemy to enter the fort. Further, there were few more such doors and then reaching the top make you realize that that’s all that has been preserved, it might have been because of the restless wind that must have eroded the fort monuments. The place gives quite a glimpse about the surrounding mountains and western Ghats and well known Pawna lake situated right next to the place, famous for hiking and camping.
Bhaja Caves, an ancient Monks cave
To look for the rich Indian history, I would suggest you visit Ancient Caves. Bhaja caves are one of them. The caves are small compared to Ajanta caves of Aurangabad and are under the protection of ASI (Archeology survey of India). The caves are too old representing the age of Satvahana and Hinayana dynasty from the 4th and 5th century. The climate has weathered the art structures around the walls while the preserved entrances and stupas are still in shape. The caves have timber being shaped to give look to the stupa roof which was placed there at the time of its making. The pillars were octagonally shaped and the rooms surrounding the stupa were carved with bed and a small hole to light the lamp at night. There were no signs of the existence of any written art around the place. The most striking feature of the place is the presence of Shiva Linga carved out of stone in the middle of the likely to be a big room right next to the stupa. The small rooms designed for an individual were cool and all of them were facing the South direction. Interesting, other Caves for example- Ajanta had South Facing entrance too.
Must Do Things:
- Carry along water bottle and snacks, the climbing is exhaustive.
- Try reaching the top before the sunrise, you can see the horizon and spend some mesmerizing time with loved once.
- Best time to enjoy the place is the morning time, all you see are very few people and a lot of photos to click without the crowd capturing in your frame.
To know the exact location click here
Leave a Comment...
March 1, 2019
Too good prachi...keep it up.. ?
March 1, 2019
Looks like a great place for peace of mind thanks for letting people know such kind of places.
March 1, 2019
I enjoyed reading your article, and I know you worked hard on it. I wish I could give this article a higher grade because you touch on some really interesting and important points.
March 8, 2019
March 8, 2019
Nice article prachi..
March 8, 2019
It is a great place look like heaven?